Winston-Salem, NC - LGBTQ City Guide

Winston-Salem is the fourth-largest city in North Carolina. It is known as the Twin City because it was created when the separate towns of Winston and Salem grew into each other during the 1880s. In addition to being known as the Twin City, Winston-Salem is also known as the City of the Arts and Innovation due to its major arts and culture and growing technology sectors too. Winston-Salem is a city that has so much to offer, with a warm and welcoming LGBTQ community as well. It would truly be a wonderful place to call home!

A Look at Winston-Salem’s History

Winston-Salem is a city with a long history. Many refer to it as a town “built on tobacco” because of its long history as a tobacco-producing region, and the fact that the RJ Reynolds company was headquartered there and was a central part of the town for many years. But its history began long before that. In fact, Winston-Salem was founded long ago by the Moravians – as long ago as 1766, in fact. The original town was named Salem, after the Hebrew word for peace. Subsequently, the town of Winston was established, named for Major Joseph Winston of the Revolutionary War. In the early 1900s, citizens of both towns voted to consolidate them into one, and Winston-Salem was born. Today, it is a growing and thriving city with a bustling arts district, plenty of opportunities, and much to see and do. In many ways, Winston-Salem would be a wonderful place to call home. 

A Few Fun Facts About Winston-Salem

  • The famed Krispy Kreme donut was invented in Winston-Salem, and donut-lovers can still visit the original store.
  • The Empire State Building was modeled after the Reynolds Building in Winston-Salem, which was the tallest building in the South when it was completed in 1929.
  • Winston-Salem is known for having “Art-O-Mats,” which are hidden all around the city. These are old cigarette vending machines that spit out original works of art in exchange for a $5 bill. There are 11 Art-O-Mats in various businesses throughout the city.


Read more fun facts about Winston-Salem here.

Winston-Salem’s LGBTQ Community                                            

Winston-Salem is a city that loves and supports its LGBTQ community with a variety of resources, including:

PFLAG Winston-Salem

PFLAG Winston-Salem is the city's local chapter of the national PFLAG organization, which is the largest grassroots organization of its kind in the country. PFLAG is well-known for its mission of supporting LGBTQ people, friends, family, and allies across the country in a wide variety of ways. With 500 chapters and more than 200,000 members in the United States, PFLAG plays a critical and important role in providing advocacy, support, and resources to the LGBTQ community.

Pride WS

Pride Winston-Salem is a nonprofit community organization serving the LGBTQ community in Winston-Salem in the surrounding area. The mission of Pride WS is to celebrate LGBTQ culture, honor diversity, promote inclusion, and encourage, educate and engage friends, allies and supporters of the LGBTQ community.

What's the Weather Like in Winston-Salem?

Those who live in Winston-Salem can expect to experience all four distinct seasons each year. Typically, summers are humid and warm with highs in July reaching around 88°F on average. Winters can be fairly cold with the low temperatures in January reaching down to around 28°F, with each year seeing an average of around 6 inches of snow. Spring and fall are typically the most pleasant seasons of the year, with spring bringing beautiful blooming flowers and fall bringing crisp breezes and brightly colored leaves. Winston-Salem receives an average of 45 inches of rain per year and around 216 sunny days, which is slightly more than the national average.

The Best Events in Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem Pride Festival and Parade

Each year, Pride Winston-Salem sponsors the Winston-Salem Pride Festival and Parade. This popular and well-attended event is a great way to have fun, make friends, and celebrate all that the LGBTQ community adds to the city. You’ll want to be sure to put it on your calendar! 

The Best Neighborhoods in Winston-Salem

Unlike some larger cities that have one particular “gayborhood” where most of the LGBTQ community lives, Winston-Salem’s LGBTQ community is somewhat spread out across the city. This isn’t a bad thing though – it simply means that there are many wonderful neighborhoods to choose from. Winston-Salem is generally a very affordable city. Small condos start at $40,000 and even the most expensive are only around $1.1 million. Single-family homes range from $53,000 to $3.9 million.

Arts and Entertainment

River Run International Film Festival

The River Run International Film Festival is an annual, Oscar-qualifying film festival that is held in Winston-Salem each year. It typically takes place in May and is an excellent opportunity to enjoy many of the best films released each year. You won’t want to miss the chance to enjoy the show (or several) for yourself!

The Stevens Center

The Stevens Center is one of the biggest performing arts centers in the city, and a wide variety of performances are held here each year. Regardless of your personal preference – chances are you’ll be able to find lots of shows to enjoy.

Parks and Recreation

Old Salem Museum and Gardens

Old Salem is one of the oldest historic districts in the city and was initially settled by the Moravians in the mid-1700s. Today, visitors can go to the Old Museum and Gardens to step back in time and learn about the unique history and culture of the area.

Salem Lake

Salem Lake is often called the “hidden diamond” of the city. Located only minutes away from downtown, this 365-acre lake not only offers opportunities for boating, fishing and water fun, but it has hiking and biking trails as well as picnicking spots too. It’s a great place to enjoy a beautiful Winston-Salem afternoon!

Winston-Salem Nightlife

The Trolley Pub

Although not technically an LGBTQ bar, the Trolley Pub is one of the most popular activities in the city for many, including the LGBTQ community. The Trolley Pub is a mobile pedal bike tour where participants can enjoy adult beverages while pedaling around the city, having fun with friends, seeing some of its most unique spots, and even getting a little bit of exercise too. It’s definitely something you want to put on your must-try list at least once!

Silver Moon Saloon

The Silver Moon Saloon is a funky, smaller sized dive bar known for its neon signs, license plate decor, strong drinks, friendly crowds, and welcoming outdoor space. It’s a great spot to stop on a night out in Winston-Salem.

Contact a Winston-Salem Gay Realtor Today

If you're ready to make a move to Winston-Salem, at, we're here to help you take the first step toward finding an agent who knows and loves the community, and who can help you find a home and a neighborhood you'll love. We're proud to have a network of excellent realtors in Winston-Salem, and we would love to help connect you with the right one. Contact a Winston-Salem gay realtor today for a free, no-obligation consultation!